Revealing My New Book, Ignite Your Light

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We talk a lot about glow. I’ve used the word so often in the last 5 years that I hardly stop to think about its meaning much anymore. Glow has always been health: at its core, healthy, clear skin. But the last few years of my life (and I think of our collective experience— if I may generalize), have revealed on so many levels that glow alone is not enough. That in order to have a life in which you look and feel beautiful you also must contribute something beautiful to the world in return. That in order to create a life that is filled with meaningful beauty as long as you live, you must cultivate beauty that is more than just visible. I, and I think so many of you, have realized a need to light ourselves up, not just in physical beauty, but in our mindset, emotions, and spirit as well. And that is the goal of Ignite Your Light.

I, and I think so many of you, have realized a need to light ourselves up, not just in physical beauty, but in our mindset, emotions, and spirit as well. And that is the goal of Ignite Your Light.

In so many ways, we’re seeking beauty that’s palpable—like that feeling we get in the presence of someone we love or in a place that fills us up. One way to describe that type of beauty is energy— the energy you convey when you walk into a room, the energy you get from doing something you love, the energy you derive from your views of the world and of yourself. Whether you believe energy is scientific, mystical, spiritual, or a mix of the three, it’s real and it’s a powerful source of beauty, health, and happiness in our lives.

I’ve spent the last several years on a journey to create my upcoming book Ignite Your Light: an energetic guide to beauty, resilience, and joy. At the same time I have been living an incredibly surreal and scary chronic illness experience. The book’s gestation mirrored my healing process: filled with ups and downs that didn't make much sense at the time, but required a consistent pledge of patience and trust. And when the path suddenly cleared and pieces began to fall into place, it all made sense, reminding me through my self-doubt that I was always the right person to write this book, and to put beauty, resilience, joy and healing together to highlight a universal power that transcends gender, race, ethnicity, age, and life experience.

Even the room where I did most of the writing for this book is light-filled.

Even the room where I did most of the writing for this book is light-filled.

By the time it’s published this coming April 2020, this book will have been a long 3.5 years in the making (for reference, it took 2.5 years for Eat Pretty from idea to pub date). For me, it’s been the test of maintaining beauty: in the breakdown, in the unknowns, in the darkest dark. The result is something so beautiful, and so different, that I can’t wait for you to experience it. Ignite Your Light takes you through the 13 most influential power sources for your personal energy and beauty— sources like creativity, relationships, mindset, play, and, of course, food (get ready for delicious new recipes, each one with a photo!). It’s a guide not just for anyone who is finding their way through a dark moment, but for everyone who is seeking more inspiration and beauty in their lives, everyone feeling confused or adrift, everyone looking for a more meaningful approach to self-care, everyone seeking to reignite vitality that has diminished or feeling helpless to change negativity and pain in the word around us. Yes, at times we will all encounter challenges, people or circumstances that drag us down, and moments where we don't feel the beauty in ourselves and our lives. But by choosing and actively creating our personal energy through these powerful sources, we can light ourselves up so bright as to find and maintain beauty, resilience, and joy through it all.

It’s a guide not just for anyone who is finding their way through a dark moment, but for everyone who is seeking more inspiration and beauty in their lives, everyone feeling confused or adrift, everyone looking for a more meaningful approach to self-care, everyone seeking to reignite vitality that has diminished or feeling helpless to change negativity and pain in the word around us.

This is just the beginning. I’ll be sharing much more of Ignite Your Light (including fun stuff like the beautiful cover, illustrations, and excerpts!) going forward. But I wanted to give you a peek into what’s coming, and let you know that I’m emerging from a place of deep healing and reflection— slowly and carefully— and feeling lit up with the knowledge that this book could help you, and others, feel the same. Thank you for supporting me on this long, transformative journey!

x Jolene

Winter Product Obsessions 2018-19: Light Edition

Have a look at these beautiful natural and organic favorites…

Once I gathered up these products from where they’d already found permanent homes in my bathroom, purse, and nightstand, I realized that they’re connected by the theme of light and glow— something I hold close throughout the cold, dark winter season. Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe these should be the next items you reach for if you’re craving a little extra glow in your winter routine too. Happy Solstice!

Kindred Baton d’Or, $38 (or Limited Edition 2018 Set for $45)

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Literally ‘stick of gold,’ this creamy, shimmering product leaves your skin subtly illuminated and deeply moisturized. With only 5 ingredients (mango seed oil, evening primrose oil, calendula-infused sweet almond oil, geranium oil, and mica), it feels like a pared-down, everyday essential and a special occasion item all at once. I’ve decided to make it an everyday item this winter, with the goal of restoring some of the sun-kissed bronze that has long left my skin. It works instantly to create luminosity— especially around my collarbone and décolleté (about all the skin I show this time of year!) or on cheeks and lips— and is surprisingly natural-looking and buildable. This product comes from (local to me) Delaware-based natural beauty company Kindred (maker of the most beautiful body oil ever), and you can purchase it paired with a cheerful sparkling pink La Femme candle as part of a special Limited Edition gift set. If you order, use the code JHART for 10% off.

 

The Organic Skin Co. Task Force Nine, $48

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Task Force Nine— the name alone sounds like it means business. And this cream does just that, by soothing skin and reducing inflammation while imparting a healthy glow thanks to golden-hued organic supercritical turmeric, sea buckthorn, and calendula extracts. This cream is a medium weight (it’s water-based, with rose hydrosol and aloe juice), has a soft, non-sticky dry-down, and is 78% organic and 100% natural. I am in love with its natural vanilla scent too— so calming on face and hands.

 




VitaVie Repair & Restore Elixir, $29

I’ve only had this oil for a few days and it’s already one of my winter favorites. Repair and Restore Elixir is instantly calming for my nervous system— you can credit the mix of frankincense, helichrysum, vetiver, neem, and lavender that is super grounding to the senses. I’ve been using it for a beautiful ritual: warm one pump of the oil between your palms, cup your palms over your nose and inhale slowly and deeply, then apply the oil to clean skin that you’ve just misted with a hydrosol. It soaks in well, leaves your skin dewy and your body feeling peaceful.

 

 
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The first time I pumped a drop of Light Reveal (a creamy, balm-like serum) onto my hand, I gasped. It’s completely orange, from brightly-pigmented supercritical sea buckthorn oil. But don’t fear, once you distribute it and massage it into skin, the orange hue creates a subtle warmth that becomes a natural-looking glow. The serum’s other antioxidant-packed ingredients include exotic buriti, pequi, and andiroba oils, plus caffeine from guarana that boosts blood flow to skin. Wabi Sabi Botanicals is a brand new indie beauty addition to Beauty Heroes, and you can purchase Light Reveal alone, or in a special Limited Edition Indie Beauty Spotlight discovery box from Beauty Heroes. The gilded packaging will be the prettiest thing in your beauty cabinet.

 

Axiology Soft Cream Lipstick in Reflection, $30

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I fell for this lipstick (dressed up in new packaging from Axiology) because it reminded me that sometimes the colors you think you can’t wear become your biggest wins. In the tube, Reflection is a pearlized purple, but on lips, it softens into a bright, berry-hued pink/purple with medium payoff that feels fresh, trend-setting, and joyful. As always, Axiology lipsticks are made with natural oils and pigments, are vegan and cruelty-free, and completely free of fragrance.


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and the Wabi Sabi Light Reveal was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

How to Keep your Body and Beauty in Balance when the Sun Doesn’t Shine

Fall is the season of letting go. And of all the things that we say goodbye to at this time of the year— alfresco dinners, beach days, an abundant garden, longer evenings— the sun is the thing I miss the most. I truly am a solar-powered creature. I feel deeply, deeply connected to the sun and to the earth, yet fall and winter gradually force me to retreat indoors, away from those life-giving aspects of nature.

Does this sound like you? What’s the best way to stay in balance in spite of reduced exposure to solar rays and lack of barefoot moments in the grass and sand? Here are a few of my top recommendations for fall and winter habits to keep your body and beauty in balance in the months ahead, if you live in a place that also lacks sunshine. I’ll be practicing these right along with you:

Prioritize morning light. Get 15 to 20 mins of light exposure every morning, outside if possible. It won’t always be sunny, but even a clouded sky in the morning is enough to balance your circadian rhythm and boost your mood. The light from a computer screen doesn't count! The more bright light exposure we have during the day, the more sleep-supporting melatonin is produced at night, studies have found. (Cool side note: melatonin may also impact gut health) Some people swear by a light box or sun lamp in the morning to mimic bright AM light, but I haven’t found this route easy to incorporate into my day. I’d rather aim for some time outdoors or near a window every morning.

Supplement vitamin D. I like a liquid D3, and I boost my dose significantly in the fall and winter to make up for lack of sun exposure. Talk to your doctor about your D level and the dose that will keep you feeling good, with strong immunity this season.

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Bring nature indoors. I like to incorporate elements of nature in my home all year, but in fall and winter it feels like a must because I don’t get outside into nature as often. Pinecones, pine boughs, pumpkins, fall leaves, and branches are natural elements that also work well inside at this time of year. I also love decorating with pretty stones, and any green plants that can’t survive outside that I want to preserve until next year (it makes my home and my south-facing windows feel a bit like a greenhouse!). See what other natural objects you can bring indoors during the fall and winter to boost your connection to the earth.

Know the dos and don’ts of lighting. Sadly, you cant simply turn on more lights around your house or your workplace and get the same physiological boost that you get from the sun. In fact, turning on lots of bright lights later in the evening can prevent your body from adequately preparing for sleep. Your pineal gland begins secreting melatonin, which helps you fall asleep easily, when the sun goes down in the evening, but LED lighting and devices that emit blue light (think TVs, smartphones, tablets) actually interfere with melatonin production, making it harder for you to get restorative beauty sleep.

Get infrared light. The infrared sauna, which uses infrared light to heat the body at lower temperatures than a traditional wood sauna, is rather new to me, but I plan to use it all winter long this year. Infrared saunas emit the same warming-from-within infrared rays given off by the sun, but without the ultraviolet light that we use sunscreen to block. A fire in a fireplace or firepit also emits infrared light that warms from within, so you could plan to get cozy around the fire more often this fall and winter too.  

Rely on other ways to support your immune system. Adaptogens like reishi, chaga, tulsi and astragalus, extra sleep, vitamin C, grounding root vegetables, extra zinc, turmeric, ginger and warm lemon water, manuka honey— there are so many amazing immune-boosters to incorporate at this time of the year to make up for the sun’s immune-boosting effects.

Embrace, rather than resist. Digging your heels in and resisting makes this natural transition even harder for your body (take it from me). This, too, shall pass and spring will of course arrive again. And the sun-filled yang months of spring and summer wouldn't be as balancing without the dark, damp, cool yin months that lie ahead. So I’ll be focusing on the autumn and winter things I enjoy, and staying warm as best as while I let nature take its course in the cycle of the seasons. And I will be following every sliver of sunshine that enters my windows, drinking hot teas, eating warm soups and stews, taking steamy baths, eating grounding foods and spicing them to create inner warmth. How about you?

For more inspiration that will help you stay in balance in autumn and winter, check out the Eat Pretty book series— each of which incorporates the shift of the seasons as it relates to beauty and health. Writing about the wisdom of the seasons and living my own advice has helped me embrace all 4 seasons for their own inherent beauty!

Do you live in a place where the sun shines less in fall and winter? How do you make up for the lack of sun exposure?